The group sat in the shade and discussed their options. The campsite wasn't great. There was very little in the way of soft sand. In survival mode - literally sleeping on the ground -no soft sand means a hard nights sleep. The problem was it was also getting dark, and the group was walking in a gorge. Walking after dark was not a safe option. The group had almost decided to sleep here for the night. The trouble was not everyone had agreed.
The group dispersed. Some people got busy collecting wood and water. Others began setting up a place to sleep. Two people were convinced that a better option existed just down the river. They decided to go check it out, recruiting another person on the way. They found a spot they preferred. Two people stayed there, replicating the effort of others upstream. The last came back to get the rest of the group. The trouble was no one else wanted to move. Not only had they not been involved in the revised decision, but they had also invested significant time and effort preparing this spot.
Eventually, the whole group got back together at the original spot. There were lots of disgruntled people, who remained dissatisfied for several days.
Over the past few weeks we have been looking at ineffective loops of behaviour. There are two here.
- The majority of the group flew into action too quickly. They thought the decision had been made, but others were not convinced. Spending a few more minutes coming to a firm decision would have stopped the problem before it began.
- The others made the subsequent decision without everyone present, and failed to communicate what they were doing and why. If they had gathered the group together for the discussion, or been more assertive in the original decision making process, they too could have headed it off at the pass.
Get clear before taking action. Involve all the key players.